Candidate - Mayor of Highlands East
1. Do you favour the concept of an amalgamated, single-tier government for Haliburton County? What would the advantages of such a system be, or, conversely, what are the advantages of maintaining the existing two-tier system?
I am not opposed to looking at all ways of improving services to the municipality. All aspects should be considered including shared services. For now, perhaps, a county-wide service review should be considered first. Within this review looking for possible ways to provide services with the possibility of lower costs should be a consideration.
2. Is the county’s tourism strategy working? What are its strong points and weaknesses? Is there anything that could be done differently to attract more people to the Haliburton Highlands?
Our social media presence is well known. As well as our tourism website at myhaliburtonhighlands.com has a vast amount of information and considerable amount of traction with the online community.
Definite improvements to our overall tourism industry have been made and the county is on board with the “Buy Close By” initiative, helping to promote purchasing from local businesses instead of bringing such purchases from the city.
We need to focus on capitalizing on our greatest assets: community, the people, the environment, and keep moving in a positive progressive manner.
3. The county is currently in the process of strengthening its shoreline protection bylaw. What provisions and restrictions should be included to adequately protect the health of the county’s lakes?
Adequate enforcement is a necessity. We need to improve restrictions on what can be cut and removed from shorelines. It is also imperative to educate the public on why we need to preserve shorelines and the steps and measures we as a county are taking.
4. The issue of short-term rentals of private cottages continues to be a topic of discussion in the community. Should municipalities be implementing control measures on short-term rentals; why or why not? What does a responsible framework for the control of short-term rentals look like?
We are elected to listen to the community concerns and implement appropriate measures. There are many pros and cons to regulating short-term accommodations (STAs) and we need to listen to and assess all of these in due course.
The objective is to maintain health and safety, protect the environment, and preserve the social interactions, (neighbours), within the communities.
We would like to promote licensed STAs and take a positive approach that provides benefits to everyone involved.
5. The county has been working toward a public transportation plan, which has not yet been produced. Do you think the county should offer a public transportation service; why or why not? What would a sustainable transportation system look like?
With our aging population looking at a sustainable county-wide system of transportation is imperative. We need to think outside the box as it may not necessarily be a standard system of transportation for Haliburton County.
Sustainability may need to be measured in a variety of ways such as usage versus cost. A county-wide system will be difficult but we really do need something for all of our residents in the county, especially in Highlands East, with being so far removed from the bulk of essential services.